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Staff panic as Nyong’o advertises 70 top jobs

WORK LIFE
By Kevine Omollo | July 8th 2019
Charles Babu Karan is sworn in as Kisumu County Public Service Board chairman on April 30, 2019. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has advertised more than 70 senior positions triggering anxiety within his administration.

In an advertisement which appeared in the local dailies last week, the governor intends to fill at least 21 positions for chief officers and another 41 for directors.

Also advertised were positions of the county secretary and a deputy as well as a number of positions in the County Public Service Board which was disbanded last year.

The advertisement has triggered anxiety among officials currently holding the posts.

A senior county government official who requested not to be named told The Standard that some of the positions advertised already have substantive office holders.

“Advertising their positions means they are already jobless,” said the official.

Most of the holders of the positions were inherited from former Governor Jack Ranguma’s regime, and have been serving in acting for the past two years following court battles which barred Prof Nyong’o from filling the positions.

After taking office two years ago, Nyong’o sent chief officers inherited from Ranguma on compulsory leave before sacking them.

Last year, the governor disbanded the Public Service Board and went ahead to constitute a new one.

With this latest move, many directors and chief officers who survived the earlier purge now fear that they may be the next to face the axe.

Yesterday, County Secretary Olang’o Onudi whose position has been advertised said he will be seeking clarification from public service board.  

Dr Onudi was, however, not specific on the issues which he wanted clarified, neither did he comment about the fears raised by a number of the staff.

“I have been away, and I also saw the advertisement on the papers. There are certain areas which I will also need to seek clarification from the board, so that I can talk authoritatively on the issue ,” said Onudi.

But even as anxiety runs high among the senior staff, some civil society activists are already contemplating going to court to stop the recruitment claiming that the advertisement was not supported by budgetary allocation.

The county's budget has not been approved by the county assembly. The estimates did not project additional funds for the hiring which some insiders claim may require additional Sh1.5 billion to an already bloated county wage bill which stands at 40 per cent of the entire budget.

County executive member for finance Nerry Achar, however, allayed fears of budgetary constraints, saying there were avenues for raising more revenue.

He said the recently conducted biometric staff audit will also free some money which could help in the increased salary demand.

Last year, the 4,200 county employees took home Sh3.9 billion in salaries, Sh200 million more than what was budgeted for.

Achar said the additional staff will push the salary bill to Sh4 billion.

Contrary to previous years where contracts lasted between five and seven years, those set to be recruited will have shorter contracts running for three years, renewable upon exemplary performance.

“With the tight contracts, we hope people will work harder so that the pay is commensurate to the work done,” said Mr Achar.

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